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SICHUAN, CHINA :
Chinese endemics in Sichuan's 'Heavenly' mountains

21st May - 11th June 2006

Leaders: Sam Woods, Keith Barnes & Iain Campbell

Report written by Sam Woods

Participants:  
Bob Brandriff Doris Pearson
Judith Brown Don Pearson
Mark Harper Marsha Salett
Richard Harper Lisa Standley
Shirley Harper  

All photos in this report were taken on this tour.


The well-named Firethroat, Wuyipeng (Sam Woods)

China is a truly fascinating part of Asia - for birding, and also for its interesting history and unique culture. This tour took in some great scenery from the wide open, grassy plains of the Tibetan Plateau to the hulking, snow-capped mountain peaks around Balang Shan. Along with the great scenery there were obviously some great birds - not least among these some beautiful Asian Pheasants that are always a big draw for many birders visiting this exciting birding region. The breathtaking male Golden Pheasant that perched in the open for everyone on one of the first days of the tour was an undoubted highlight; although some people would opt for the Chinese Monal watched displaying in the shadow of the mighty Balang Shan mountain as a more worthy highlight; while others may say that that the beautifully adorned male Lady Amherst's Pheasants seen several times on the flanks of Wawu Shan were much better. Either way you look at it, many birds on the tour were stunning and highly cooperative. Having run a tour there shortly before this one we had some good up-to-the-minute information on some key species, allowing us to get a respectable total of almost 270 birds seen on the tour, including some real rarities. Like the gorgeous male Rufous-headed Robin, (the undeniable bird of the trip for some), that sat in the open on a quiet forest trail in the visually stunning Jiuzhaigou National Park; a beautiful male Firethroat that posed fantastically for photos in the Wolong reserve near the beginning of the tour; although the comical nature and great character of the Hume's Groundpecker up on the windswept Tibetan Plateau was also memorable; as was the brilliant male Temminck's Tragopan that perched in full view for everyone to appreciate the incredible beauty of this horned pheasant near to the Wuyipeng Panda Research station. All in all it was a really great tour, for the scenery, the birds and the superb Chinese cuisine that this region is rightfully internationally famous for.

21 May ARRIVAL. Birding around Chengdu: Du Fu's Cottage & the Panda Breeding Centre.
22 May am Chengdu-Wolong village. pm Birding around Sawan.
23 May am Sawan-Wuyipeng. PM Birding around Wuyipeng, Wolong.
24 May Wuyipeng, Wolong.
25 May am Wuyipeng-Sawan. PMBei Mu Ping, Wolong.
26 May Bei Mu Ping & Balang Shan Pass, Wolong.
27 May am Balang Shan. PMBalang Shan-Maerkang.
28 May am Maerkang. PMMaerkang-Hongyuan, Tibetan Plateau.
29 may am Hongyuan, Tibetan Plateau. PMHongyuan-Ruoergai, Tibetan Plateau.
30 may Ruoergai-Jiuzhaigou National Park.
31 May Jiuzhaigou National Park.
1 June Jiuzhaigou National Park.
2 June Birding near to Jiuzhaigou National Park.
3 June Jiuzhaigou-Chengdu.
4 June am Chengdu-Wawu Shan. PMWawu Shan.
5 June Wawu Shan.
6 June Wawu Shan.
7 June am Wawu Shan. PMWawu Shan-Emei Shan.
8 June Emei Shan.
9 June Emei Shan.
10 June am Emei Shan. PMEmei Shan-Chengdu.
11 June DEPARTURE.

21 May
As most people arrived the day previously we headed out for some light birding around Sichuan's humid capital. Du Fu's Cottage, the former home of a famous Tang Dynasty poet, produced some surprises in the form of a migrant Chinese Goshawk, a pair of Tiger Shrikes and a Brown-breasted Flycatcher that had all not been present there on the previous tour, although the brutish Yellow-billed Grosbeaks were more expected as was the Rufous-faced Warbler that sang from the bamboo sections in the park. Other notable birds there included Light-vented (Chinese) Bulbul, White-cheeked Starling, Chinese Pond Heron, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, and the distinctive form of Eurasian Blackbird that many split as a separate species, Mandarin or Chinese Blackbird. We then had our first taste of Sichuan's famed food, with a bewildering array of dishes coming our way at a well-known Chengdu restaurant before departing for the Panda Breeding centre where we picked up more Vinous-throated Parrotbills (the first of 9 species of this charismatic family recorded on the tour), a very vocal Large Hawk Cuckoo, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, a fine Forest Wagtail walking around near to the entrance with a few Oriental or Grey-capped Greenfinches in the same area (our only sighting of the tour).

22 May
We departed early for the town of Sawan in the famous Panda reserve of Wolong. After a lunch arrival we ascended some slopes behind our hotel to look for some of the specialties of the area - not least the Golden Pheasant that frustrated us that afternoon by remaining hidden in the forest undergrowth. However, the Chinese endemic Slaty Buntings were more cooperative and everyone had great looks at the beautiful blue-gray male. Other birds seen around Wolong village included a small group of White-throated Needletails over the town itself, and we also got our first taste of that most confusing group of Chinese birds - the Phylloscopus warblers with Sichuan & Blyth's Leaf-Warblers on the hillsides above the town. A stunning male Indian Blue Robin was found skulking in the forest undergrowth, and we also managed to find our first two endemic tit species, with a nesting Sooty Tit found right by the male Slaty Bunting and a Yellow-bellied Tit in the same area.


Yellow-bellied Tit (Sam Woods)

23 May
The original plan for the day had been to leave early for the fairly tough hike up to the Wuyipeng panda research station in Wolong reserve, although having missed the pheasant on the day before we felt compelled to try again for this Asian beauty. We tried a different tack this time sending a few of the guides in to try and push some of the birds down slope towards the group as a last ditch effort to see this famously shy species. Luck was on our side this day, and soon after we went into the scrub a gaudy male Golden Pheasant flew up into a short conifer where all 9 people in the group could appreciate the spectacular plumage on what must be one of the China's brightest and most sought-after birds. A contender for bird of the tour was already 'under the belt' and it was only day three! We then headed up to Wuyipeng research station, although before reaching there we heard the fluty song of a Firethroat on the way up and soon got some good lucks at this fantastic bird. Another colorful species, the Golden-breasted Fulvetta was also soon on the walk up there, although some less gaudy birds were seen such as Yellowish-bellied & Brownish-flanked Bush-Warblers (perhaps more interesting for their song than their appearance), and another phylloscopus in the form of a Chinese Leaf-Warbler singing from the top of a small conifer. At the top we came across White-browed Bush-Robin, Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Eurasian Nutcracker and a bunch of flycatchers including Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Slaty-Blue Flycatcher and several Rufous-bellied Niltavas.

24 May
The day was spent birding along the trails that surround the Wuyipeng panda research station. This field station was originally set up for George Schaller for his pioneering studies on Giant Pandas, although unfortunately sightings of them are now extremely rare as they are famously secretive creatures. The forest trails there are choked with bamboo and are the haunting ground for some of Sichuan's most sought-after birds, including the gorgeous Temminck's Tragopan, that a few people had managed to see at the end of the previous evening. As most of the group had missed it then we decided to postpone breakfast and return to the area as the sun rose in the hope we would find the male as it emerged from its roost. The plan worked to perfection, soon after the suns rays started streaming through the trees, the strange eerie wailing call of the tragopan could be heard from the treetops and a short time later a flurry of wingbeats was heard as the male Temminck's Tragopan swooped down from its roost high in the trees and perched on a low open branch where we all just watched this spectacular bird dumbfounded. Two fantastic pheasants in two mornings, we really could not have hoped for a better start. Later in the morning Mark topped this by finding a female on a nest a short distance down the same trail...


A female Temminck's Tragopan on a nest reacts to the male
walking below its nesting tree, Wuyipeng (Iain Campbell))

We had not finished with the pheasants for that day however and not long after a calling male Blood Pheasant was seen close by the research station. Other birds seen around the station on this day included an impressive pair of Great Parrotbills (a more appropriate name might be Giant Parrotbill as it dwarfs all its congeners), another extremely confiding Firethroat, two Besras, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Grey-crested Tit, Gould's Sunbird and Grey-headed Bullfinch.

25 May
On this morning we birded our way from Wuyipeng back to Sawan, although the birding near to the station prevented us from leaving at the originally planned time as the endemic Three-toed Parrotbill (along with another Great P
arrotbill), made an appearance in a dense patch of bamboo alongside the trail. The same area also held a superb Red-winged Laughingthrush, that was unusually confiding for that species, allowing several views of it singing from high in the trees. The same trail also held a pair of cute Chestnut-headed Tesias, that glowed yellow as they flitted around full of nervous energy in the forest undergrowth, and a very vocal Bay Woodpecker was also found in the same area. Another endemic Barred Laughingthrush, was found on the way down, in the same area we had encountered it on the last tour the month before, and Speckled Woodpigeons on the downward journey were also new to us. After a lunch back in Wolong village we departed for the higher altitudes around the Bei Mu Ping monument (altitude around 3,339m). With this change in elevation came many new birds including several new endemics like Chinese Fulvetta, and our first of many Elliot's Laughingthrushes for the trip. Other new species for the tour found up there included the exquisite Blue-fronted Redstart, Golden Eagle, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-vented Tit, Chestnut Thrush and White-browed Rosefinch; while both White-throated & Brown Dippers were seen on the rivers alongside the road leading up there as were a number of White-capped Redstarts a bird good-looking bird seen frequently throughout the tour.


White-capped Redstart (Iain Campbell)

26 May
On this day of the tour we headed up to my favorite area in Sichuan - the heady heights of Balang Shan pass, where there are simply stunning birds coupled with breathtaking mountain scenery. This for me is the very best of Sichuan birding.


Balang Shan - surely one of the most dramatic backdrops for birding anywhere in the World (Sam Woods)

Although a brief stop for some endemic Giant Laughingthrushes feeding in the road a short time after dawn was in order before heading in the direction of the pass itself. Before we reached the Balang Shan pass we decided to stop in an area we had seen one of Sichuan rarest, most-wanted birds. No sooner had I announced to the group what bird we were looking for there when Mark proclaimed he had one right there - as an iridescent male Chinese Monal ambled across an open clearing allowing everyone to get great looks. Once again on this trip a pheasant had given itself up far more easily than expected. By the end of the morning we had seen another two or more individuals including an even closer male that was frozen in some bizarre form of display posture. The pheasants were fast stealing the show for the tour, although I guess when they look like they do it is hard to beat them! One person even remarked that for her the tour had been a success even at this early stage! (I reminded her however Sichuan still had plenty more to offer though!)


Chinese Monal, Balang Shan area (Sam Woods)

The pheasants once again had not finished with us just yet, and a short time later a small party of White-eared Pheasants strolled into view...


White-eared Pheasant, Balang Shan area (Sam Woods)

The birding around Balang Shan is truly amazing, and this perhaps the most memorable days birding on the tour, with a number of striking Tibetan Snowcocks found on rocky scree slopes near the higher peaks, one group in the same area as a small covey of Snow Partridges, and around the 4504m high pass itself we found a gorgeous male Grandala glowing purple in an alpine meadow. Rosefinches were represented by the hulking Red-fronted Rosefinch at the Balang Shan pass and a few Dark-breasted Rosefinches lower down. Other birds encountered there included both Alpine & Rufous-breasted Accentors, a bright orange male Golden Bush-Robin, a solitary Snow Pigeon (much more interesting than most of its more dowdy congeners) and the endemic Verreaux's Partridge also made a very welcome appearance.

27 May
With only a morning to spare around Balang Shan before we had to depart for Maerkang, we decided to make the most of it and have a really early start to try for one of the specialties of the area. The Wood Snipe is a rare Gallinago that is confined to high mountain slopes where it is rarely encountered except in the first period of daylight when they make their aerial displays and call their strangely mechanical call. In order to have a reasonable chance of seeing this bird you simply have to be out there early which is exactly what we did. Although on arriving at a known area for the bird we were dismayed to find heavy snowfall which had not yet relented. We remained huddled in the warmth of the vehicle waiting for the first glimmers of light. Knowing that the snipe usually begins calling before the sun has risen I decided to check out side to hear if the snipe was calling in the most inhospitable of conditions. This seemed a little futile to say the least in the harsh weather at the time although having made the effort to get there at the ungodly hour I thought we should make the most of it! To my disbelief immediately on getting out of the vehicle the unmistakable call of the snipe could be heard overhead and I quickly alerted everyone. With snow heavily falling the situation for seeing the bird was not the best and the Wood Snipe passed overhead many times before many people got on the bird and even then the high silhouetted views were a little disappointing to say the least. However we persevered and finally watched the bird fly down onto the ground where we were able to scope this rarely seen snipe and everyone could fully appreciate it after all the effort we had all put into to see the bird. With the unseasonally heavy snow a number of normally higher altitude species had ventured lower down making them much easier to see - such as the large visible roadside flocks of scarce Black-headed (Brandt's) Mountain-Finches in mixed flocks where they were outnumbering the typically more common Plain Mountain-Finches. Similarly a number of Grandalas were also found much lower then usually expected. A strange sight was seeing a solitary Spotted Bush-warbler singing its highly distinctive song from the top of a lone snow-covered bush high up towards the pass, seeming well out of place in this arctic-like setting. With snow falling heavily we limited our time there and made a few stops at specific points for species, one of which paid of handsomely when the hoped for male White-tailed (Himalayan) Rubythroat sang aggressively from the top of some heavily snow-laden high mountain scrub, while a pair of Songar Tits were found in some sparse scrub above the treeline further down. A seriously impressive bird and all the better for the snowscape that it was seen in, with huge snow-clad mountains looming behind. We then retreated to a nearby restaurant for some welcome hot food and then headed north west for the long drive to Maerkang. We saw some species on the journey however including Hill Pigeon, Blue Rock Thrush and a Black Drongo.

28 May
Maerkang is a strongly Buddhist town, with several different forms being practiced there. The Tibetan influence is clearly evident in the distinctive and attractive architecture and style of houses in the town, where the different forms of Tibetan Buddhism are also easy to discern in the vastly different styles of buildings found in various sections of Maerkang. It is a really attractive town with a great feel to it, and on top of that there is some great birding very close to the town itself.


A distinctive Tibetan settlement on the edge of Maerkang (Iain Campbell)

We had a full morning birding there, although as usual this never felt like enough time as the morning was filled with birds, many of them top class specialties. Like the group of the striking endemic Three-banded Rosefinches, glowing bright pink against the white flowers in which they were feeding; Chinese Song Thrush, another endemic was easy to find as it sang from the top of a nearby dead snag ; although my favorite Sichuan bird was also seen near to Maerkang - the attractive endemic Crested Tit-Warbler, a stunning, cute white-topped pink-and-blue warbler that was easy to see as it fed in the open conifer forest up there.


Chinese Song Thrush, Maerkang (Iain Campbell)

Other good birds encountered there included further views of Verreax's Partridges for those who had missed it before at Balang Shan; a number of striking White-throated Redstarts; Red-flanked Bluetail; Daurian Redstart; Chinese Babaxes in the same spot we had found them on our last tour; White-winged Grosbeak and our first Treecreeper of the trip - Eurasian Treecreeper. After this bird-packed morning it was difficult to drag ourselves away, although after the best noodles and dumplings I have tasted anywhere in Sichuan we were ready to head off north where the Tibetan Plateau, with its very different birds, awaited us.


White-throated Redstart (Iain Campbell)

The afternoon was spent traveling up to the Tibetan Plateau where we ended the day in the town of Hongyuan. However, before reaching there we soon got a taste of Tibetan birding with some good birds right near the plateau edge. Although one of the first birds found by Keith as we emerged on to the edge of the plateau was a bird we had looked for and missed the previous day at Balang Shan when we were thwarted by the unseasonally harsh conditions up there, and therefore was all the sweeter for it. On checking an area of stunted scrub just before the wide open plains of the plateau opened up before us Keith spotted a pink movement in the undergrowth which proved to be our second Tit-Warbler of the day and completed this cool set of birds for the trip, with a fine male White-browed Tit-Warbler. Other birds seen en-route were much more typical of the Tibetan Plateau like some male Citrine Wagtails in bright breeding plumage, a hulking Upland Buzzard, Daurian Jackdaws, Ruddy Shelducks and best of all were 4 regal Black-necked Cranes, one of the top target birds in the area.


Black-necked Crane, Hongyuan (Sam Woods)

29 May
A full day was spent up on the wide open plains of the Tibetan Plateau. The birding up here is just great, completely different from what we had experienced previously on the tour. The area also has a very different feel to other parts of Sichuan, with curious Tibetan Yak herders roaming around on horses and motorbikes, their simply patterned, temporary tented homes scattered around the open plains. Throughout that day we met a number of interesting characters - some of which appeared as if they had just walked off the set of a Quentin Tarantino movie...


Just one of the interesting Tibetan characters up on the Plateau
- the one on the left! (Iain Campbell)

The morning started by looking for one of the more inconspicuous endemics in the area - Pere David's Laughingthrush (also referred to more aptly as Plain Laughingthrush), that we soon found in an area close to our hotel where we had seen them a few weeks previously. It was good to get another Chinese endemic straight after breakfast. We then headed off to explore the grasslands of the plateau. For one of the most charismatic residents up there we went straight to where we had found them nesting recently (in a convenient roadside bank), and a short time after arriving there sure enough a Hume's Groundpecker (that has now been renamedGround Tit after its taxonomic affinities were found to be tied with the tit family, something that is hard to fathom when you look at this oddball bird), came bouncing along towards the hole. It was obligatory to watch this bird with its clumsy looking bill and awkward gate for a while, as it quite simply a fascinating bird with bundles of character, all the better for its strange taxonomic position.


Hume's Groundpecker (Ground Tit), Tibetan Plateau (Sam Woods)


Hume's Groundpecker bringing food to the nest, Tibetan Plateau (Sam Woods)

The stake outs were working well at this time, and it continued in that fashion for the rest of the day, with the brutish Tibetan Larks found in the same marsh they had been on the previous tour, and a pair of Chinese Grey Shrikes also occupying the same valley one had been seen before, and it was nice to see the pair of White-browed Tits (for me the best of the Chinese endemic tits of which there are a few), still actively coming in and out of their nest hole carrying food in and out frantically for their demanding offspring.


Tibetan Lark, Tibetan Plateau (Sam Woods)

Similarly the Black-winged (Tibetan) Snowfinch was also still in residence close by. Other new birds included Oriental & Horned Larks, Hodgson's Redstart, Godlewski's Buntings, Common Redshanks, Brown-headed Gulls, Common Tern, Azure-winged & Black-billed Magpies, Siberian Stonechat, Twite and Common Rosefinch.

30 May
After some final birding on the Tibetan plateau we had to leave the open plains behind and descend once more into the boreal conifer forests that begin just below the plateau edge. After the great birding the day before this was hard to do although a pair of Sukatschev's Laughingthrushes in these forests soon got us back into forest birding again, a scarce and often difficult Chinese endemic, although we have found them reasonably easy to come by on our 2006 tours. Another bird which was pleasing to see again was the strikingly marked White-cheeked Nuthatch that put on a good show for us al, while the pair of stunningly marked Ring-necked Pheasants were also very welcome, a bird that markedly different (and better in my book) in its native Chinese home, than it does back in my home country in England, while the Eurasian Jay and a Hoopoe were also much appreciated by those who were not familiar with these beautifully marked birds. Once out from the plateau we had to travel over another high pass and we quickly left the vehicle when Bob spotted what turned out to be a nesting Tibetan Snowcock by the roadside, that allowed amazing views as it has taken up residence right by the roadside. We then carried onto to the town of Jiuzhaigou, just outside the park of the same name.


Nesting Tibetan Snowcock, en-route to Jiuzhaigou (Sam Woods)

31 May
This day was spent in the visually stunning Jiuzhaigou National Park which has become famed for its scenic lakes, attractive waterfalls and beautiful wooded valleys.


The visually spectacular Pearl Shoals Falls, Jiuzhaigou (Iain Campbell)

It is also home to one of Sichuan toughest birds to see, although one of its most amazing songsters and downright attractive birds - the Rufous-headed Robin. We went after the bird on this day although the bird lived up to its famed reputation as a skulker and few people managed to get the views they craved. The day was not wasted however as there are plenty of other birds in the park, like yet another endemic tit that was added to the trip list that morning with a pair of Pere David's Tits, in addition to a handsome male White-bellied Redstart, similarly attractive Slaty-backed Flycatchers, and another endemic in the form of a small party of 3 Snowy-cheeked (Chinese) Nuthatches. A late afternoon, optional foray just outside the park produced the hoped for Spectacled Fulvettas, in addition to the endemic Spectacled Parrotbill.

1 June
With the trouble caused by the Rufous-headed Robin the day before we decided to head out to another known territory for it, along a quiet little-walked trail, and despite calling briefly in the cold morning the bird appeared completely uninterested in showing itself. Some hours later another individual was heard although only briefly and we figured we had been thwarted again, until shortly after we rounded a corner to find a superb male bird perched on the path at close range, that for at least one person was the undisputed trip highlight - one look at the page in the field guide will help you to understand why, coupled with its extreme rarity and the air of mystery surrounding the bird (its winter range is still completely unknown), its easy to see why. Anything after that was of course just a sideshow, although both Bar-tailed Treecreepers and the endemic Sichuan Treecreeper (complete with its distinctive trilling call), were new for the trip. The latter bird only being a very recently discovered species, so a very pleasing addition, and one that was not initially known to occur in this area so a species with an interesting history as well. We also found a calling Eurasian Treecreeper that completed the treecreeper sweep for the day (although as we had already recorded earlier on the tour, it was not really that important perhaps to anyone apart but me!)

2 June
On this day we ventured to a low pass close to the park as some of the species that occur in the park can also be found there, and while walking through the spongy moss-laden conifer forest we chanced upon three Chinese Grouse, one of which was flushed at close range from its nest (a simply hollow in the pine litter). A beautifully-marked Chinese endemic that was particularly pleasing as all of our group got a look at at least one of the birds. Other birds recorded that day included more Crested Tit-Warblers (although no-one complains about that), further views of Three-banded Rosefinches, although Maroon-backed Accentors were new for most of us. Collared Grosbeak was seen by one lucky observer, while Long-tailed Thrush, Beautiful & White-browed Rosefinches were all nice birds we had come across before.

3 June
This was essentially a travel day back to Sichuan's capital Chengdu with little time for birding.

4 June
On this day we headed to the subtropical forests on the flanks of Wawu Shan or 'Roof Tile' Mountain. The birding on Wawu Shan is superb with many of the special species that are found on its more popular neighbor Emei Shan (that we visited later on the tour), also being found there. On arriving there we birded the excellent forest flanking the quiet mountain road that leads up the mountain. The road covers a range of altitude from around 1128m at the bottom to 1950m at the top end giving a good chance at a number of different elevational groups of birds, ranging from subtropical species at the lower end to temperate forest species at the summit. At the lower end of the road one of these subtropical species, Oriental Honey Buzzard passed overhead, while Collared Finchbills were a regular feature around the restaurant where we lunched, down near the base. The relatively recently described Emei Leaf-Warbler has a fairly restricted altitudinal range that it is found in, although within that range it can be fairly common. On reaching the prime area for the bird on Wawu, we soon heard one of these great little warblers giving it's highly distinctive call, that helps to separate this species from the otherwise very similar Blyth's Leaf-Warblers also found on the mountain and soon we all had some good looks at the bird. This species was initially only known from nearby Emei Shan, although has been found at a number of other sites since its discovery, with Wawu Shan holding a sizable breeding population of its own. Other birds noted along the road included a pair of calling Fujian Niltavas, and it was great to start seeing one of the Orient's most interesting and instantly recognizable bird groups - the Forktails. Three species of these much appreciated birds were seen during our time at Wawu, with two before we had even reached our accommodation, with first a pair of nesting Slaty-backed Forktails, then a Little Forktail perched in the road. Other new birds included yet another tit species - the fascinating Yellow-browed Tit that looks decidedly better then most field guides illustrate, Wedge-tailed Pigeon and Hair-crested (Spangled) Drongo in the lower subtropical sections, Further up the mountain a blur of red that flashed across the road proved to be another male Temminck's Tragopan.

5 June
This day like some of our first days on the tour will best be remembered for a particularly ornately adorned pheasant that put in an appearance during the morning. When Iain had briefly wandered away from the group and scanned down the misty mountain road, a pair of Lady Amherst's Pheasants wandered casually into the road, he alerted us immediately and most people managed to get great and truly satisfying look looks at this dazzling pheasant. There was a real buzz amongst the group as we had expected to struggled a little more for this much-wanted species. Although this species has been introduced into some countries (notable in the UK), nothing can beat seeing them in their natural home. Another male Temminck's Tragopan was also seen on the road in the early morning gloom as we headed down to the area for the Lady Amherst's. Other birds seen along the road before we ascended to the mist-shrouded summit were electric-blue Verditer Flycatchers; a male Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher of the race that many now split off as a separate species - Chinese Blue Flycatcher;our third and final Forktail of the trip, with a White-crowned Forktail on the road; superb views of 3 Rusty Laughingthrushes, a normally shy and retiring near-endemic species that showed unusually well for us; and a pair of adorable Golden Parrotbills that we watched chirping away in the roadside bamboo.


Golden Parrotbill, Wawu Shan (Sam Woods)

For the remainder of the day we visited the 2,657m high summit, getting there by using their self-proclaimed 'most modern cable car in China' (although this claim would clearly not stand up in a court of law!) The cable car transports you to a totally different kind of forest than occurs lower down, lower in species diversity although extremely important for some key birds that occur there, a few of which are how Wawu Shan became to be known to birders. The fir forest of the summit is open and easy to bird in although, the carpet of bamboo that layers the ground up there makes seeing some of these specialties trickier than it would first appear.


Birding Wawu Shan's atmospheric fir forests at the summit - the haunt of some really
special birds like Grey-hooded & Fulvous Parrotbills and Sichuan Treecreepers (Iain Campbell)

Unfortunately on this day a constant drizzle and heavy mist enshrouded the mountain, both on the lower and higher sections. So we had no choice but to go for it anyway, and on the whole it did not hamper our birding too much. Wawu Shan came to prominence due to the discovery of a new species of Treecreeper which frequents the summit fir forest - Sichuan Treecreeper, one of which we saw and made up for those who had missed it earlier at Jiuzhaigou. However the mountain was know although little visited before then for another threatened endemic, the Grey-hooded Parrotbill that roams the bamboo understorey up there. This bird challenged us on this day and proved more elusive than on the last tour. However once we chanced upon a Fulvous Parrotbill, another of our targets there we also found a Grey-hooded Parrotbill feeding within the same low stand of bamboo. Two new parrotbills in as many minutes, and what with the Great Parrotbills and Golden Parrotbills seen earlier in the day, it proved to be a four Parrotbill day. Other perhaps less appealing birds that summit is good for are the cryptic Bush-Warblers and we added to our burgeoning list of these when we saw 4 new species up there - Grey-sided, Chestnut-crowned, Aberrant & Brown Bush-Warblers.

6 June
As a few people had narrowly missed the Lady Amherst's Pheasants the day before, some of them decided to stake out the road with Iain where they had been seen early in the hope they may again to choose to forage there. Unfortunately this did not happen, although much later in the morning when bird activity had slowed and people least expected it a cheer went up from some people further up the road when a male Lady Amherst's Pheasant was found perched brazenly on a roadside culvert. Other species seen along the peaceful mountain road on this day included Chestnut-crowned Warbler, the most distinctive and attractive of the otherwise confusing group of Seicercus warblers; a singing male Snowy-browed Flycatcher; a pair of the restricted range Grey-faced (Emei) Liocichlas was most welcome early on, one of the key specialties this mountain shares with Emei Shan; as was our 8th Parrotbill for the tour - the scarce Grey-headed Parrotbill that appeared a short time after the Liocichla; a cute Pygmy Wren-Babbler came in really close to check out our recording; while the pair of superb noisy Spotted Laughingthrushes right beside our bungalows was a great close to the day.

7 June
For our final morning on the mountain we once again cruised along the road checking areas for certain species that we were still missing. Early on one of these appeared when a small active flock passed by with no less than 4 Fire-capped Tits in it, including several red-capped males in there. Scanning the dead snags in the more barren rocky areas paid off, eventually with a pair of Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrushes that were found perched on a prominent branch there. We also went to an area where there was a known territory of the cute Collared Owlet and pretty soon heard the bird giving its monotonous , but distinctive call and eventually found the bird surrounded by a small mobbing party of passerines. Other no less welcome birds that we had previously seen included Blue Magpies and the attractive white-headed form of Black Bulbul. After lunch at the base of the mountain we headed to our final destination of the tour, the mountain of Emei Shan. Emei Shan is a holy mountain, sprinkled with Buddhist temples as it is one of the four holy Buddhist mountains in China, and the only one in western China. For the late afternoon we had a casual walk around one of these temples - Fuhu Si at the base of this well-forested mountain. The forest at the base is at much lower altitudes than we had previously experienced on the tour (altitude = 550m), and comes with its own distinctly more humid climate that we had not experienced since the first day of the tour in Chengdu. Many of the targets here are surprisingly easy to come by, and before we had even reached the forest proper we found Brown-rumped (Swinhoe's) Minivet perched conspicuously above a busy main road, a scarce Chinese breeding endemic. The park close by held some Japanese White-eyes that were also new to us, as were the cute Ashy-throated Parrotbills that were our 9th and final parrotbill of the tour; laughingthrushes there were dominated by the White-browed Laughingthrushes that we were familiar with from the opening day of the tour in Chengdu, although the same area also held the much more interesting Hwamei that we had not come across before. Other new lowland species included a gorgeous male Fork-tailed Sunbird, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and White-rumped Munias nesting in the hotel grounds.

8 June
After some final birding around the lowland areas, seeing many of the same species as the day before including Tiger Shrikes, Black-throated Tits, further Fire-breasted Flowerpeckers, Ashy-throated Parrotbills and Slaty-backed Forktails we ascended the mountain to our final birding base of the tour, at Leidongping at the cooler elevation of 2,400m. With the climb in altitude once more came different birds (some of which at this late stage of the tour we were now familiar with), like Bianchi's Warblers, Tickell's Warblers, Buff-barred Warblers, the very attractive Red-billed Leothrix, White-collared Yuhinas, Chesntnut-flanked White-eyes, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher an interesting flycatcher that has recently been placed in its own monotypic genus.


White-collared Yuhina, Emei Shan (Sam Woods)

9 June
On this some of the group ventured down the mountain to the area of the Elephant Bathing Pool (around 2060m elevation) and beyond (with no elephants in sight!), while others opted for a day around Leidongping and the Golden summit (altitude = 3049m). The group that made their way lower down got the best of the luck that day as the looking back up to the summit we could see that it was shrouded in heavy mist, that hampered visibility up there on this day for the group. However they still managed to add Ashy-throated Warbler (our 15th and final Phylloscopus warbler of the trip), to the list in spite of the demanding conditions. Close to the Elephant Bathing Poll the pigeons were typically out in force perching in the barer parts of the tree tops that can be viewed well from there, with both Wedge-tailed Pigeons and Speckled Woodpigeons observed there. White-throated Needletails were seen much better than previously hawking low over the conifers close to our hotel, and many other species that we had seen before gave some great unforgettable views on this day all;owing people to get the experiences with those special birds that they had craved. Not least among these was a really showy pair of Red-winged Laughingthrushes that are a way better bird than depicted in the field guide
, that led one person to modify his vote for bird of the tour to this species in light of these truly superb views. In addition to that a Spotted Laughingthrush also gave some good close looks a bird that I for one am always happy to see time and again, along with an exceptionally tame male White-bellied Redstart that was seen feeding completely in the open on the pavement mere inches from us, and a very close Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler made a nice comparison with the Pygmy Wren-Babbler we had recently added at Wawu Shan. While new birds came in the form of repeated sightings of Darjeeling Woodpeckers, a very close singing male White-tailed Robin skulking in the bamboo undergrowth, and some superb Vinaceous Rosefinches that had strangely eluded us until then. A new mammal also came in the form of the tame Tibetan Macaques that hang around the temples alongside the scenic mountain trail.

 


Vinaceous Rosefinch, Emei Shan (Sam Woods)

10 June
For our last mornings birding before our afternoon return to Chengdu, the group that had not yet visited the Emei summit, took a trip up by cable car to the highest point on the mountain - the 3090m high Thousand Buddha Summit. It was there we added another new bird to the trip list in the form of a superb Black-faced Laughingthrush that had strangely eluded us previously in foggy conditions up on Wawu's summit. Other birds encountered up there included powdery Grey-headed Bullfinches, Rufous-breasted Accentors, Chestnut-crowned Bush-Warblers, while the Eurasian Hobby that darted overhead as we got on the bus to leave constituted the final new bird of the tour. We then all left for Sichuan's steamy capital, where we had a final and possibly best meal of the trip visiting an internationally famous Sichuanese restaurant where the dumplings and spicy cashew-based dishes were a particular favorite. It was a good way to end our second 2006 tour, and even the dismal opening performance by England in their opening soccer World Cup game, watched by some of us later that evening, could not dampen our spirits!

BIRD LIST

Taxonomy and nomenclature follow: Clements, James F. 2000. Birds of the World: A Checklist. Fifth Edition. Vista, CA: Ibis Publishing Co. Includes recent updates.

All the birds on this list were seen by at least one person in the group other than the leader, except those marked with an 'H' which were only heard.
275 bird species were recorded on the tour, 268 species of which were seen, with a further 7 species heard only.

HERONS, EGRETS AND BITTERNS (Ciconiiformes Ardeidae)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) 
Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus)
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 

DUCKS, GEESE AND SWANS (Anseriformes Anatidae)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) 
Eurasian Teal (Amas crecca)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 
Ferruginous (Duck) Pochard (Aythya nyroca)
Common Merganser (Goosander) (Mergus merganser) 

HAWKS, EAGLES AND KITES (Falconiformes Accipitridae)
Black (Black-eared) Kite (Milvus migrans)
Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus)
Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) 

Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus) 
Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus)
Chinese (Sparrowhawk)
Goshawk (Accipiter soloensis)
Besra (Accipiter virgatus) 
Eurasian Buzzard (Buteo buteo) 
Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) 
Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
Mountain Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis) 

FALCONS AND CARACARAS (Falconiformes Falconidae) 
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)  

GROUSE, PTARMIGAN, PRAIRIE-CHICKENS (Galliformes Tetraonidae)
Severtzov's (Chinese) Grouse (Bonasa sewerzowi)
 
PHEASANTS AND PARTRIDGES (Galliformes Phasianidae) 
Snow Partridge (Lerwa lerwa) 
Verreaux's (Monal) Partridge (Tetraophasis obscurus) 
Tibetan Snowcock (Tetraogallus tibetanus)
Chinese Bamboo-Partridge (Bambusicola thoracica) H
Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) 
Temminck's Tragopan (Tragopan temminckii) 
Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) H
Chinese Monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) 
White Eared-Pheasant (Crossoptilon crossptilon) 
Blue-eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum) H
Ring-necked (Common) Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) 
Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) 

CRANES (Gruiformes Gruidae) 
Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis)

RAILS, GALLINULES AND COOTS (Gruiformes Rallidae)
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) 

PLOVERS AND LAPWINGS (Charadriformes Charadriidae)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)

SANDPIPERS (Charadriiformes Scolopacidae) 
Wood Snipe (Gallinago nemoricola)
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) 

GULLS (Charadriiformes Laridae)
Brown-headed Gull (Larus brunnicephalus)

TERNS (Charadriiformes Sternidae) 
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 

PIGEONS AND DOVES (Columbiformes Columbidae) 
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) 
Hill Pigeon (Columba rupestris) 
Snow Pigeon (Columba leuconota) 
Speckled Wood-Pigeon (Columba hodgsonii) 
Oriental Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) 
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) 
Red Collared Dove (Streptopelia tranquebarica)
Wedge-tailed Pigeon (Treron sphenura) 

CUCKOOS (Cuculiformes Cuculidae) 
Large Hawk-Cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides)
Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo (Cuculus fugax) H
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) 
Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) 
Lesser Cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus) 
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)

OWLS (Strigiformes Strigidae) 
Oriental Scops-Owl (Otus sunia) H
Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodei)
Little Owl (Athene noctua)


SWIFTS (Apodiformes Apodidae) 
Himalayan Swiftlet (Aerodramus brevirostris) 
White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) 
Fork-tailed (Pacific) Swift (Apus pacificus) 
House Swift (Apus nipalensis) 

KINGFISHERS (Coraciiformes Alcedinidae) 
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 
Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) 

HOOPOES (Coraciiformes Upupidae) 
Hoopoe (Upupa epops) 

BARBETS (Piciformes Capitonidae) 
Great Barbet (Megalaima virens) H

WOODPECKERS (Piciformes Picidae)
Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) 
Darjeeling Woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) 
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos cathpharius) 
White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) 
Gray-faced Woodpecker (Picus canus)
Bay Woodpecker (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) 

LARKS (Passeriformes Alaudidae) 
Tibetan Lark (Melanocorypha maxima) 
Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula) 
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) 

SWALLOWS (Passeriformes Hirundinidae) 
Eurasian Crag-Martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) 
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) 
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) 

Asian Martin (Delichon dasypus)

WAGTAILS AND PIPITS (Passeriformes Motacillidae) 
Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus) 
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) 
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) 
Gray Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) 
Oriental (Paddyfield) Pipit (Anthus rufulus)
Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni) 
Rosy Pipit (Anthus roseatus) 

CUCKOO-SHRIKES AND MINIVETS (Passeriformes Campephagidae) 
Brown-rumped (Swinhoe's) Minivet (Pericrocotus cantonensis)
Long-tailed Minivet (Pericrocotus ethologus) 

BULBULS (Passeriformes Pycnonotidae) 
Collared Finchbill (Spizixos semitorques) 
Light-vented (Chinese) Bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) 
Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) 

KINGLETS (Passeriformes Regulidae) 
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) 

DIPPERS (Passeriformes Cinclidae) 
White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) 
Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) 

WRENS (Passeriformes Troglodytidae) 
Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) 

ACCENTORS (Passeriformes Prunellidae) 
Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) 
Rufous-breasted Accentor (Prunella strophiata)
Maroon-backed Accentor (Prunella immaculata) 

THRUSHES (Passeriformes Turdidae) 
Chestnut-bellied Rock-Thrush (Monticola rufiventris)  
Blue Rock-Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Blue Whistling-Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus) 
Long-tailed Thrush (Zoothera dixoni) 
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) 
Chestnut Thrush (Turdus rubrocanus) 
White-backed Thrush (Turdus kessleri) 

Chinese (Song) Thrush (Turdus mupinensis)

CITICOLAS AND PRINIAS (Passeriformes Cisticolidae)
Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata)

OLD WORLD WARBLERS (Passeriformes Sylviidae) 
Chesnut-headed Tesia (Tesia castaneocoronata)
Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler (Cettia fortipes) 
Chestnut-crowned Bush-Warbler (Cettia major)  
Aberrant Bush-Warbler (Cettia flavolivacea) 
Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler (Cettia acanthizoides) 
Gray-sided Bush-Warbler (Cettia brunnifrons) 

Spotted Bush-Warbler (Bradypterus thoracicus) 
Russet Bush-Warbler (Bradypterus seebohmi) H
Brown Bush-Warbler (Bradypterus luteoventris) 
White-browed Tit-Warbler (Leptopoecile sophiae) 
Crested Tit-Warbler (Leptopoecile elegans)
Dusky Warbler (Phylloscopus fuscatus) 
Tickell's Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus affinis) 
Buff-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus subaffinis) 
Yellow-streaked Warbler (Phylloscopus armandii)
Buff-barred Warbler (Phylloscopus pulcher)
Ashy-throated Warbler (Phylloscopus maculipennis)

Sichuan Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus forresti) 
Chinese Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus sichuanensis) 
Hume's Warbler (Phylloscopus humei) 
Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis)
Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides) 
Large-billed Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus magnirostris)  
Blyth's Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus reguloides) 
Emei Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus emeiensis)  
White-tailed Leaf-Warbler (Phylloscopus davisoni) 
Gray-crowned Warbler (Seicercus tephrocephalus) 
Bianchi's Warbler (Seicercus valentini) 
Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Seicercus castaniceps) 
Rufous-faced Warbler (Abroscopus albogularis) 

OLD WORLD FLYCATCHERS (Passeriformes Muscicapidae) 
Siberian (Dark-sided) Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica) 
Brown-breasted Flycatcher (Muscicapa muttui)
Ferruginous Flycatcher (Muscicapa ferruginea)
Slaty-backed Flycatcher (Ficedula hodgsonii) 
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher (Ficedula strophiata) 
Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) 
Slaty-blue Flycatcher (Ficedula tricolor) 
Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassina) 
Fujian Niltava (Niltava davidi) 
Rufous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara) 
Blue-throated (Chinese Blue) Flycatcher (Cyornis rubeculoides)
Gray-headed Canary-flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) 
White-tailed (Himalayan) Rubythroat (Luscinia pectoralis) 
Rufous-headed Robin (Luscinia ruficeps) 
Firethroat (Luscinia pectardens)
Indian Blue Robin (Luscinia brunnea)
Red-flanked Bluetail (Orange-flanked Bush-Robin) (Tarsiger cyanurus) 
Golden Bush-Robin (Tarsiger chrysaeus)
White-browed Bush-Robin (Tarsiger indicus)  
Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis) 
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) 
Hodgson's Redstart (Phoenicurus hodgsoni) 
White-throated Redstart (Phoenicurus schisticeps) 
Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) 
Blue-fronted Redstart (Phoenicurus frontalis) 
White-capped Redstart (Chaimarrornis leucocephalus) 
Plumbeous Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus) 
White-bellied Redstart (Hodgsonius phaenicuroides) 
White-tailed Robin (Cinclidium leucurum) 
Grandala (Grandala coelicolor) 
Little Forktail (Enicurus scouleri) 
Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus) 
White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaulti) 
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maura) 
Gray Bushchat (Saxicola ferrea)

MONARCHS (Passeriformes Monarchidae)
Asian Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)

BABBLERS (Passeriformes Timaliidae) 
Pere David's (Plain) Laughingthrush (Garrulax davidi) 
Sukatschev's (Snowy-cheeked) Laughingthrush (Garrulax sukatschewi)
Spotted Laughingthrush (Garrulax ocellatus)

Barred Laughingthrush (Garrulax lunulatus) 
Giant Laughingthrush (Garrulax maximus) 
Rusty Laughingthrush (Garrulax poecilorhynchus)
Hwamei (Garrulax canorus) 
White-browed Laughingthrush (Garrulax sannio)

Elliot's Laughingthrush (Garrulax elliotii) 

Black-faced Laughingthrush (Garrulax affinis)
 
Red-winged Laughingthrush (Garrulax formosus) 

Gray-faced (Emei Shan) Liocichla (Liocichla omeiensis) 

Spot-breasted Scimitar-Babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis) 

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler (Pomatorhinus ruficollis)
 
Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga albiventer) 

Pygmy Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla) 

Rufous-capped Babbler (Stachyris ruficeps) 
Chinese Babax (Babax lanceolatus) 
Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) 

Golden-breasted Fulvetta (Alcippe chrysotis) 
Chinese Fulvetta (Alcippe striaticollis) 

Spectacled Fulvetta (Alcippe ruficapilla) 

Streak-throated Fulvetta (Alcippe cinereiceps) 
Gray-cheeked Fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia) 
Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis)
White-collared Yuhina (Yuhina diademata) 

PARROTBILLS (Passeriformes Paradoxornithidae) 
Great Parrotbill (Conostoma oemodium) 
Gray-headed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis gularis) 

Three-toed Parrotbill (Paradoxornis paradoxus) 

Spectacled Parrotbill (Paradoxornis conspicillatus)

Vinous-throated Parrotbill (Paradoxornis webbianus) 

Ashy-throated Parrotbill (Paradoxornis alphonsianus) 

Gray-hooded Parrotbill (Paradoxornis zappeyi) 

Fulvous Parrotbill (Paradoxornis fulvifrons) 
Golden Parrotbill (Paradoxornis verreauxi) 

LONG-TAILED TITS (Passeriformes Aegithalidae) 
Black-throated Tit (Aegithalos concinnus) 
Sooty Tit (Aegithalos fuliginosus) 

CHICKADEES AND TITS (Passeriformes Paridae) 
Songar Tit (Poecile songara)
White-browed Tit (Poecile superciliosa) 

Pere David's Tit (Poecile davidi) 

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 
Rufous-vented Tit (Periparus rubidiventris) 
Yellow-bellied Tit (Pardaliparus venustulus) 
Gray-crested Tit (Lophophanes dichrous) 
Great Tit (Parus major) 
Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus) 
Yellow-browed Tit (Sylviparus modestus) 
Ground Tit/Hume's Groundpecker (Pseudopodoces humilis) 
NB.  Traditionally thought to be allied with the crow family, this has recently been found to be genetically closely related to tits (hard to believe looking at this quirky bird), and is now accordingly grouped with them.

NUTHATCHES (Passeriformes Sittidae) 
Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) 
Snowy-browed (Chinese) Nuthatch (Sitta villosa) 
White-cheeked (Przevalski's) Nuthatch (Sitta leucopsis) 

CREEPERS (Passeriformes Certhiidae) 
Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) 
Sichuan Treecreeper (Certhia tianquanensis) 

Bar-tailed Treecreeper (Certhia himalayana)

PENDULINE TITS (Passeriformes Remizidae) 
Fire-capped Tit (Cephalopyrus flammiceps) 

SUNBIRDS AND SPIDERHUNTERS (Passeriformes Nectariniidae) 
Gould's Sunbird (Aethopyga gouldiae) 
Fork-tailed Sunbird (Aethopyga christinae) 

FLOWERPECKERS (Passeriformes Dicaeidae) 
Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus) 

WHITE-EYES (Passeriformes Zosteropidae) 
Chestnut-flanked White-eye (Zosterops erythropleurus) 
Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus)
 
SHRIKES (Passeriformes Laniidae) 
Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) 
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) 
Gray-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus)
Chinese Gray Shrike (Lanius sphenocercus) 

DRONGOS (Passeriformes Dicruridae) 
Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) 
Hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus) 

CROWS AND JAYS (Passeriformes Corvidae) 
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) 
Azure-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyana
Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha) 
Eurasian (Black-billed) Magpie (Pica pica) 
Eurasian Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes)
Red-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) 
Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) 
Daurian Jackdaw (Corvus dauuricus) 
Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos) 
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 

STARLINGS (Passeriformes Sturnidae) 
Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus)
White-cheeked Starling (Sturnus cineraceus)

OLD WORLD SPARROWS (Passeriformes Passeridae) 
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 
Black-winged (Tibetan) Snowfinch (Montifringilla adamsi)) 

WAXBILLS AND ALLIES (Passeriformes Estrildidae) 
White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata) 

FINCHES, SISKINS, CROSSBILLS (Passeriformes Fringillidae)
Plain Mountain-Finch (Leucosticte nemoricola) 
Black-headed Mountain-Finch (Leucosticte brandti)

Dark-breasted Rosefinch (Carpodacus nipalensis) 
Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus)
Beautiful Rosefinch (Carpodacus pulcherrimus) 
Vinaceous Rosefinch (Carpodacus vinaceus) 
Three-banded Rosefinch (Carpodacus trifasciatus) 
White-browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus thura) 
Red-fronted Rosefinch (Carpodacus puniceus)

Oriental (Grey-capped) Greenfinch (Carduelis sinica) 
Twite (Carduelis flavirostris) 
Gray-headed Bullfinch (Pyrrhula erythaca) 
Yellow-billed (Chinese) Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria) 

Collared Grosbeak (Mycerobas affinis) 

White-winged Grosbeak (Mycerobas carnipes) 

BUNTINGS, SEEDEATERS, ALLIES (Passeriformes Emberizidae)
Slaty Bunting (Latoucheornis siemsseni)
Godlewski's Bunting (Emberiza godlewskii)